Canadian abstract artist Blu Smith views his vibrant and powerful paintings not as individual pieces but rather as a living, breathing and constantly evolving body of work. His mature style began as an exercise to free himself from the technical restraints of realism, and exploring non-representational abstraction drove the evolution of his unique artistic voice.
Moving with his family to a rural area of Vancouver Island six years ago was a seminal moment for Blu, when his abstraction began to combine with the landscape of the Canadian West Coast. His subject matter has since been based on organic shapes with strong ties to nature; the organic structures are balanced with cavernous, light-filled spaces inspired by the West Coast of Canada, giving each atmospheric piece an almost other-worldly glow.
Beginning with broad washes and textures, Blu then identifies and develops the three- dimensional shapes within the structures, finally resolving the surface with incisive drawing. He uses a combination of brushwork and palette knife, heavy texture complemented by thin layers of transparent glazes, and is less concerned with detail than pursuit of the canvas working overall. “The viewer” he says, “ needs to use some imagination to fill in the gaps.”